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Replying to:  FEEDBACK by jllana   Oct 24, 2003, 9:54 AM


by DaveTampa    Oct 26, 2003, 11:24 PM

You ask for experiences from customers on ATT GSM network. Heres my experience with your GSM network. You may not want to read this it blast ATT network really bad.

I started out on your TDMA network as a business customer. I had your service for years. I got the best service and best cell coverage ever, period stop end of sentence. Nobody could touch your network. I even put my wife on your network. I was talked into your new GSM service with the Siemens S46 phone when it was introduced in Tampa. I was assured that I would get best of both worlds. GSM where it was available and TDMA where it wasn't. Sounded great, I upgraded Along with a few others in the office to the new service. Hey! you could sync with outlook. Life was great.

Then you had to try to use the phone. First off no one in your company knew how to turn on both the GSM side and the TDMA side of this phone when it first came out. I traveled a lot between Tampa FL and Massachusetts. I used GSM in Tampa when I got to MA phone didn't work. I called many times wasting hours and hours at a time trying to get the phone to work in both networks. No one could do it. Finally after about a month both GSM and TDMA worked. Then the network and phone issues started. I originally purchased a version 14 of the phone it didn't work they upgraded the phone to a 17 then a version 21. At version 21 I had these problems

1.I get only 8-12 hours in standby mode in TDMA. If you talked at all it went down to something like 3-4 hours. Siemens manual states on page 93 up to 150 hours in standby mode.
2.Extremely low hand set volume.
3.Phone sometimes will not ring. Caller hears ringing but but cell phone does not ring the person is sent to voice mail.
4.Voice mail notification is sent up to 3 hours after a Voice mail message is left.
5.Extremely Poor reception in GSM and TDMA mode.
6.Clipping (breaking up of call voices) of conversation.
7.When phone rings with a caller. Caller ID displays ?call forward.?

I had called ATT wireless's technical support many times, they check the network and perform some work on my phone remotely. This never fixed the problem. They just try to get rid of me as fast as they could. I had gotten tired of dealing with ATT wireless technical support which could not fix these issues. I contacted Siemens technical support directly. They checked the version of my phone and stated that there are known issues with Seimens S46 cellular phone version 21 and ATT wireless's network. (note This conversation and wait time did not exceed 6 minutes. ATT could learn a thing or two from Siemens CSR.) I was told by the Seimens tech support that ?If you want a S46 to work reasonably well on ATT GSM network I need a version 46 which had firmware and hardware upgrades. I thought OK all I have to do is get ATT tech to either send out a repaired S46 or I send It in for repair. They had done it twice before, I though easy solution. I called ATT wireless with this information and tried to get them to send me a replacement phone which would work correctly on their network. I was told that I must purchase a new Siemens S46 phone if I wanted to get the version 46. I went through the roof. I purchased this Siemens S46 phone through ATT wireless. ATT should have made sure that the phone they sold me worked on their network before they ever thought about selling it. (This is called regression testing in the tech world. I don't think ATT did any on the roll out of this phone) I had called ATT wireless many times trying to get this problem resolved with out any success. The two other people that had this phone (Siemens S46) experienced the same exact issues and problems. I finally filed a complaint with the better business bureau of Hillsborough county. Then all of a sudden ATT's attitude changed. Why did it take this action in order for ATT to do the right thing. Siemens knew my version didn't work on ATT network ATT must have also. ATT offered me a new Seimens S46 or I could go on the GSM network. AT that time I hated the Seimens S46 phone and wanted it gone.

So I traded out the S46 for a Nokia 6310i phone. THIS PHONE ROCKS. I have never had a phone that has as good of batter life and signal strength ever. Nokia knows GSM. But this is where ATT lost me as a customer, its billing and back office for their GSM network. It needs to fixed and now. Because I switched from a dual network to a GSM only network my billing changed. First for some unknown reason ATT could not turn off data plans. I called up every month for three month straight saying I don't want any data I told you last month to turn it off. I finally got so pissed I said if I ever see this charge on my bill again I will cancel my phone.

Then ATT change their voice mail system to eat up more of my minutes. Originally I could hit 7 at any time while listening to a message and it would delete it. Then ATT changed their system around to where you now I have to hit 33 then 7. This is annoying especially if you are driving. With the old system I would have my ear piece in and dial my voice mail number and drive. Then I would have my thumb on seven and just press it when I wanted to delete the message without having to listen to the whole message. Now ATT forces me to preform more steps to eat up my minutes. Hey its a nice trick if no one complains.

When I called customer support I was informed that this new voice mail system was better then the old one. I said maybe for your billing department. (By the way Sprint's voice mail system acts just like your old system. I know because one of the other guys who had an S46 left and went to sprint. His final straw was telling ATT customer support for the third straight month that he wanted to set up automatic billing to his American Express. On the last time the CSR told him he had to pay late fees . He said turn it off.) Back to my tale. I then asked why ATT changed the system it worked great. I was told it was improved. I asked what improvement? Answer: It's improved. The only answer I see it that it cost me more to use. (This is because of it takes longer to do anything.)

My final straw was when I tried to dial a Mexico number from Tampa today. I got an ATT wireless message saying I can not dial this number. I called ATT support and first answer is: it's your phone. The Tech says It probably your phone not working correctly. I said I called Mexico a month ago from TX and it worked fine. I just can't call from Tampa to Mexico. I said Its your network. He then proceeded to start to run through the standard ATT trouble shooting flow diagram. Turn off phone. Remove battery. I told him to stop. This usually takes at about 1 hour ( I've gone through it enough to know) and I still haven't solved the problem at the Mexico job site which is why I needed to make the call in the first place. I told him I would just buy a $10 prepaid calling card and call from a pay phone. I don't have the patience or the time anymore to go through yet another troubleshooting session. I can live with phone until I change. I'm going to wait until Nov 24 and switch to either Sprint, Nextel or Verizon.

If I had to sum up ATT GSM network and CSR. It would be the network is at this time very close to being usable but your billing, voice mail and programing of the network is very lacking. You should only have to make a change once not every month. Your CSR wait times are unbelievable, I usually wait between 15- 60 minutes on hold before ever talking to support. It usually is about 25 minutes. And anything more complex than setting up or changing account information seems hard. I take this from the fact that It took almost a year to get the last four numbers of my SS number correctly inputted into the system. ATT CSR act like its the first time I have every asked for it to be corrected. I've given ATT almost 18 month to fix these problems and they haven't. It seems like ATT wants consumers users and not business users. For Business user reliability and speed are expected and required.

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